Let’s talk about the new gas tax. Approved in May 2017 by the Governor and Legislature, Senate Bill 1 imposes $52 billion in permanent new gas taxes and user fees on motorists. We already have some of the highest gas taxes and worst roads in the country to show for it. I put together this short video to demonstrate the impact this new gas tax will have on California businesses and families. I will continue fighting to protect taxpayers and will to keep you updated on what’s happening with this important issue.
CAP-AND-TRADE BAIT AND SWITCH
Governor Brown has signed Assembly Bill 398, the extension of California’s cap-and-trade program.
Unfortunately, the signing of this bill marks the start of the next great California recession. The legislature and Governor have shown utter disregard for the lives of the working people in this state and have chosen to impoverish them to fight climate change.
If we want to shrink our carbon footprint, and think that it’s imperative for our continuing prosperity, or even survival, there are ways to do that without putting the burden on the backs of the poor and vulnerable.
Fuels under the cap-and-trade program already adds $0.11 to every gallon of gas. We just passed a new gas tax that adds $0.12 cents to every gallon, and that number will go up every year after 2021. Now this could add another $0.73 cents to every gallon of gas.
The rest of the country is paying about $2 dollars a gallon for gas. California motorists are going to be paying $2 dollars just in taxes and in climate change fees soon. This is going to ripple through every area of the economy and wreck small businesses and family budgets.
We talk a lot about environmental justice at the Capitol, but what about the economic environment? Is there economic justice in pushing through a massive, regressive tax on the poorest people in the state?
Our clean vehicle rebate money comes from these cap-and-trade funds, so at least we can be sure that the poorest people in the state can keep subsidizing millionaires when they buy their $100,000 Teslas.
I am going to protect California’s poor and working class, not double their fuel costs to possibly make some miniscule difference in the sea level in the year 2200 or to get a pat on the back from global elites.
DEPUTY SHERIFF MICHAEL D. DAVIS JR. MEMORIAL INTERCHANGE
Senator Gaines joins family and fellow officers in dedicating the Deputy Sheriff Michael D. Davis Jr. Memorial Interchange.
I recently joined the family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers of Placer County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael D. Davis Jr. at a dedication ceremony naming in his memory the Highway 80 Interchange at Horseshoe Bar Road in Placer County as the “Deputy Sheriff Michael D. Davis Jr. Memorial Interchange.”
Deputy Sheriff Davis was shot and killed in Auburn in the line of duty on October 24, 2014 during a manhunt to arrest a carjacker that had spread from Sacramento to Placer County. The carjacker also shot and killed Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver. Deputy Sheriff Davis is survived by his wife and four children.
During the last legislative session, I received unanimous support from both houses of the legislature for my bill (Senate Concurrent Resolution 151) honoring Deputy Michael D. Davis Jr. and naming the “Deputy Sheriff Michael D. Davis, Jr. Memorial Interchange.”
There were no state funds used in creating and erecting the signs marking this special designation. All funding was generated through the Placer County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association.
TAXPAYER PROTECTION BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATIONS
My Senate Bill 11, a measure that would proactively waive penalties and interest for taxpayers when a California Board of Equalization (BOE) or its successor agency’s system failure prevents them from making tax payments on time, passed unanimously out of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
California taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for penalties and interest because of a state website outage. Senate Bill 11 is simple and fair, two elements of good governance that are too often missing in California. I look forward to the bill’s continued support as it heads to the Assembly Floor.
Under existing law, tax payments made after the filing deadline are subject to interest and penalty. The BOE or its successor agency is currently authorized to waive any penalties or interest if the late payment is due to a disaster or agency error, however, it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to file paperwork and petition for a refund.
Senate Bill 11 comes on the heels of four separate BOE computer system failures over the past year, two of which occurred during peak filing deadlines leaving taxpayers unable to pay their tax bills on time.
Senator Gaines thanks student interns during an appreciation ceremony.
We had a great night celebrating this wonderful group of students interning this summer in my Capitol and Granite Bay District Offices. I am incredibly thankful for their hard work and dedication to the 1st Senate District!
From left to right:
Sloane Martin, University of Southern California
McKayla Burrows, William Jessup University
John Louis Chiappe, Pepperdine University
Claire Marks, University of California, Riverside
Christian Hansen, Point Loma Nazarene
Jordan Kane, Vista Del Lago High School (Folsom)
Michelle Dennin, Oak Ridge High School (El Dorado Hills)
Kendra Johnson, Azusa Pacific University
CHANGES AT THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
Massive changes are underway at the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) that I wanted to make you aware of. A recently passed law will restructure the agency into three separate entities.
The BOE will remain an independent entity headed by its five-member board and will continue performing its constitutionally-assigned duties: reviewing, equalizing or adjusting property tax assessments; assessing taxes on insurers; and assessing and collecting excise taxes on alcoholic beverages. The board will continue to hear current and new appeals on all tax and fee matters until December 31.
Starting January 1, 2018, appeals of all tax matters other than those constitutionally assigned to the BOE will be heard by the newly created Office of Tax Appeals (OTA). OTA appeals will include: franchise and personal income taxes, sales and use taxes, and other special taxes. Each appeal will be heard by a panel consisting of three administrative law judges.
There will be a newly created California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). It will be part of the governor’s administration and report to the Government Operations Agency.
During the transition period (July 1 - December 31), people paying taxes and fees should continue to file and make payments to the BOE as regularly scheduled. The BOE appeals process also remains the same through the end of the year. As changes are made to these processes they will be announced and posted on the new CDTFA website.
If you have questions about a tax issue or appeal during the transitional period, contact the BOE Call Center for simple questions or a referral to a new department. For more serious or complex issues contact the office of the Taxpayers’ Rights Advocate. Of course, you also can contact one of my offices, and we’ll be pleased to assist you.
Phone numbers for questions regarding taxes, fees and tax and fee appeals:
BOE Call Center: 800-400-7115
Taxpayers- Rights Advocate: 888-324-2798
Office of Senator Ted Gaines, Granite Bay District Office: 916-717-5840
HONORING WARDEN RANDY GROUNDS
Senator Gaines is joined by Pastor Clay Rojas (middle) as he presents a certificate to Warden Randy Grounds (left).
It was my honor to present a Certificate of Recognition to Warden Randy Grounds during a recent “Christians in Law Enforcement” event at William Jessup University. Warden Grounds retired after 34 years of service, starting with the El Dorado County Probation Department and then on to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Most recently, he served as warden of Salinas Valley State Prison where he is credited with significantly reducing the number of violent incidents that took place at the prison by increasing rehabilitation programs available to prisoners such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, along with a number of faith-based programs. I am thankful for his hard work and dedication to California and that he is continuing to share his knowledge and experience in advisory roles during his retirement.
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT
Today, August 1 is the 34th annual National Night Out, the nationwide event designed to increase awareness in communities of crime prevention programs, including neighborhood watch, town watch, law enforcement agencies and other anti-crime efforts.
Since 1984, the National Association of Town Watch has provided resources and information for communities to participate in the National Night Out, “America’s Night Out Against Crime.” Created to promote safer communities by highlighting local crime prevention groups, businesses and agencies, National Night Out is now observed by 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities across the country.
Be sure your community joins in the fun! For more information, visit https://natw.org/.
TINY HOUSE IN SISKIYOU COUNTY
In November 2015, students at Weed High School in Siskiyou County began a “tiny house” building project. Construction was completed this past spring and the tiny home made an appearance at the 63rd annual Weed Carnevale held in July. The home measures 200 square feet with a dining nook, kitchen, bathroom, closet and bedroom loft. The students plan to hold a silent auction to sell it in September and the money raised will fund the construction of their next tiny home. What a great “hands on” project for students to hone their construction and problem-solving skills!